Address: 136-142 Java Road
North Point „
I'll start by saying that I have a gripe with those who complain about cheap hotels in Hong Kong having small rooms- it's Hong Kong! Most places I've stayed in have tiny rooms there- excepting the 5 star hotels, of course.
This hotel is in a great location- it is literally seconds away from the MTR station and a few minutes walk to the main road with the trams. Admittedly it's a few stops down to Central, but there's plenty of places around to shop and eat. Also, having a room with a harbour view is a plus.
The service is good, if not basic. The reception is very small (manned by only 2 or 3 people every time I've been) but I've never been failed by them. The English spoken is very good, and most of the staff seem tri-lingual (Mandarin, Cantonese and English).
The added extras cost, well, extra. Internet was around 100 dollars for 24 hours when I was last there (why don't hotels supply this for free?!) and breakfast, although costly, was great- a Western buffet with all the trimmings, served from 630 AM (perfect with my jetlag!).
Now, the rooms ARE small. As a single traveler, this wasn't too much of an issue, but the double bed and lack of floor space might be trouble for couples. The TV is tiny and in a shelf in the wall, and there's a small kettle with basic teas and coffees. No baths, of course. One gripe was that the walls/ doors seem paper thin- no disturbances from other rooms, but from the corridors.
All in all, you get what you pay for- small room, decent service, no frills.
I visited Hong Kong in March 2009 on a business trip and spent 7 days at the Ibis North Point hotel. I booked the ibis because (compared to most) the cost was quite low and the standards are usually quite good for the price.
The hotel was convieniently located next to a metro station which was literally 2 doors down so this was very good. Booking into the hotel was very simple, although i did have my chinese colleague to help with this, so cant really comment fully. I was told that HK hotel rooms were very small and not to expect much, and once i arrived in the room i could instantly see what they meant. There was a large single/small double bed which filled the majority of the floor space with a desk that ran under the window, and a TV in the wall (dont get too excited, it was an old style TV with a massive hole is sat in. There was a small space to hang my clothes but only enough space for the length of a t-shirt (so girls if you take dresses, yoiu may have to be imaginative in how you hang it). There was a full length mirror that faced the ensuite. The bathroom was small, but actually quite big compared to the rest of the room. It was basic but ok.
If you do book to stay here i insist you book a harbour view, WOW, this made the size of the room worth it to see the view during the day. I arrived late night and couldnt see anything, when i woke, i was very pleasently surprised.
For an extra cost there is a breakfast you can have served in the 24 hour bar (i never used it other than for breakfast though). The bar/restaurant is small with long dinner benches rather than tables, and there were about 8 or 9 of these. It was never busy whilst i was there so we always had a table to ourselves. The food was ok i guess but was slightly surprised to see chicken nuggets on the menu, but then i imagine they have just thought this is what westerners will eat and they will like this for breakfast, i might be the token westerner but they were right on this occasion :-)
If you are staying in HK i imagine there are better hotels for the same cost, and having been i would say Kowloon side offers more in terms of nightlife, views etc but at the same time i think you could probably do worse. Definatly not recommended if you are sharing the room or expect to do anything more than sleep in there.
During my travels last year, I found myself in need of a bed in Hong Kong. As I'm from there, I wasn't looking for a hotel to 'enhance my HK experience', I was just looking for somewhere cheap and cheerful. I would be out most of the day so I didn't need great facilities, or a top-class restaurant. All I needed was somewhere to sleep for 2 nights. I chose the Ibis as it looked to be one of the cheapest hotels on most of the hotel booking sites I looked at (Apart from the hostels at Chungking Mansions. A word of warning: don't stay at Chungking Mansions. The horror stories outweigh the benefits of a cheap room)
THE IBIS NORTH POINT HOTEL- AN OVERVIEW:
The hotel is a part of the Ibis chain, and it's got a pretty clear ethos- clean, comfortable, and budget. They provide basic rooms with ensuite bathrooms without such amenities as tiny soaps, shoe shining kits, and other superfluous items. This helps to keep costs down, whilst giving you what you need and want. Overall, it's a pretty good strategy, although I have stayed in a few Ibis hotels and I have to say that quality can vary dramatically from place to place.
The Hotel Ibis North Point is located in North Point on Hong Kong Island. It has 275 rooms over 31 floors (Some facing the harbour, others not). Eleven of those floors are non-smoking. There's a business centre and a restaurant and Laundry service if needed. I paid HK$ 550 a night, so a total of HK$ 1100 for two nights (About £69). Price-wise, this is a budget to mid-range price for Hong Kong.
The location is slightly out of the major tourist areas, but in a place like Hong Kong, public transport is so efficient and quick that nowhere is really far from anywhere else. Bear in mind that just because it's not in major parts of town doesn't mean that it's not a noisy and bustling area. Everywhere in Hong Kong is noisy, so you just learn to tune it out, although I didn't really notice much noise when I was in my room.
It has excellent bus and subway (M.T.R) links. I flew in late at night and got a bus from the airport terminus. Bus A11 cost HK$ 40 (£2.50) and it took about 50 minutes to get to the hotel (This was rather late at night, so I can imagine it might take longer if you have to deal with traffic snarls). Getting off is easy; just stay on until the very end. The final stop is at the North Point ferry pier. If you get off and look away from the harbour to the road, you'll see the hotel all lit up and shiny; it is literally just across the road. For getting back to the airport, I just did the reverse. I noted what time the bus left (about every half hour or so) and checked out of the hotel 10 minutes before that.
The hotel is also incredibly easy to get to from the M.T.R. Just take the Island line (Blue line on the map) to North Point, take exit A1, turn right and walk about 50 steps and you're there!
I checked in quite late at night, but the Ibis chain promise that there is always somebody on reception, 24 hours a day. There was a lady on the desk who checked me in. She wasn't particularly friendly, didn't crack a smile, but she wasn't rude either. Her English was fine as she asked me for my reservation details and my passport.
The next day I got back to the hotel after a day out and my key wouldn't open my door (It was one of those swipe keys which I think were made just to make me feel like an incompetent fool when I have to go down to reception and piteously say "I can't open my door!!") There was a young man on the desk who was lovely and made me confirm my name and room number before he put my key in the machine and did some magic on it. After that, it worked fine.
Checking out at about 6:30 in the morning, I didn't see anyone at the reception desk. However, I peeked through an open door just next to the check in area and saw a staff member sitting in a small office using a computer. She straight away got up and dealt with me, so that was fine. I can't imagine the graveyard shift is very much fun.
I had a room on the 12th floor, facing away from the harbour. It was very small, but I thought very well laid out. As you entered, the bathroom was on the right with a toilet, shower and sink. It was small but perfectly fine for my needs. It had two full-sized towels and two hand towels, one of which I used as a shower mat. There was a squeezy bottle of bodywash/shampoo affixed to the shower wall and two water glasses. There was no soap rack or small ledge in the shower, which was annoying as I had nowhere to put my shampoo or personal soap bar, so they just kind of sat on the floor of the shower.
There was a small niche which held a safe, and two clothes hangers on a short rack for hanging up essentials. It also had a small pull-out cupboard which contained a kettle and teacups, as well as a couple of packets of anonymous tea, and a small bar fridge. Hong Kong water is safe to drink, and I certainly drink my fair share but each night I would boil the kettle and leave it in the fridge in order to have some nice cold water in the morning.
The rest of the room had a bed. It was certainly big enough for me to sleep comfortably and to stretch out, but if there had been two full-grown adults in it, it would have been very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, small beds are a fact of life in Hong Kong; space is at a premium, and you pay more if you want more space. Matresses tend to be very very thin, often just a foam matress on top of a wooden ledge (Which was the case here) so beware for anyone with back problems. There was a TV set into the wall next to the bed, so you pulled in out on casters and then tilted it so that it was facing you. It made for quite comfy viewing when all tucked up in bed.
The windows pointed out and created a triangular window seat, so a custom made desk fitted into that space. There was a wooden desk chair, a telephone and a few vouchers and brochures to read about Hong Kong. There were a couple of hooks on the wall to hang clothes, and enough space to walk around the bed and possibly leave a suitcase on, but that was it.
Like I said, it was a very, very small room, but the people responsible had made a good use of space. It was fine for one person, but I can imagine it would be tough going for a couple if you want to spend a significant amount of time in the room. You'd be falling all over each other, and you'd have to politely take turns stepping into the bathroom.
UNFORTUNATELY, the room was pretty filthy. I don't mind a bare and Spartan room, but I like my rooms (superficially at least) to be clean. The walls were papered with a cheap dirty white wallpaper which appeared to be peeling in many places. The bottom foot or so of the wallpaper had obviously been attacked by a toddler wielding an impressive rainbow of crayons. It really didn't look as if the cleaning staff had made much effort to scrub it off, and I have to say that this kid was no Van Gogh.
The carpet was absolutely filthy. Ostensibly a light grey colour, there were numerous stains all over it, and some of those stains really freaked me out. The carpet felt clammy underfoot and so whenever I was in the room I would wear my flip-flops, just because I didn't want to expose my bare feet to whatever bodily fluids were festering in the carpet.
The sheets, as far as I could see were clean and freshly laundered, as were the towels. However, I noticed quite a bit of dirt and hair in the corners of the bathroom, and behind the door. I just got the impression that the cleaning staff would do the basic room servicing, but what my room needed was a thorough deep clean, if not a revamp, using materials that were more stain-resistant. I may have just been unlucky, but the building as a whole looked a bit tired and worn, which was sad, as other Ibis' I have stayed in are very clean and well-maintained.
The hotel had a restaurant, which is apparently open every day from early morning until reasonably late at night. However, I really don't see any need to eat there. There is a 7-11 practically next door, so I bought myself some juice and muesli bars to eat first thing in the morning and then went out. For your information, there are 2 national activities in Hong Kong: Shopping and eating. So you'll never go hungry, and you won't need to resort to eating in scummy hotel restaurants unless you're in exceptional circumstances.
There were also some tables and chairs in the reception area with some powerpoints scattered around, and I saw quite a few people on laptops. Apparently, the hotel has WiFi, but I think you have to pay. I also noticed a couple of computers in the corner of the lobby but I never got the chance to use them. I think the deal was that they were free, as long as you asked reception for the log in details. There is also a business centre, which I believe had the rudimentary elements necessary for business people, but I didn't have a look there.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this hotel. This is because I feel that is doesn't adequately fill the gap between budget hostels and guesthouses, and luxury hotels. If you're looking for cheap accommodation, then you'd be better off staying in a hostel or a guesthouse. You'll pay less, and you can use the money to go shopping or have a nice meal at a nice restaurant. On the other hand, if you like luxury and price is not too much of a consideration, then I would stay somewhere nicer. This is a shame, because I really wanted to like the hotel, I really did. If it's ever upgraded, or given a thorough spring clean, then I will be back. But at the moment, I'm still fighting off nightmares about those carpets.
Hotel Ibis North Point, 138 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
Tel: (852) 2588-1111 Fax: (852) 2588-1123
(This review also published on Ciao UK under the same user name)